#880 When someone piggy-backs you anywhere

Walk this way

This ancient and mystical mode of transportation deserves big ups for big reasons. Piggy-backing makes you happy in so many ways:

1. Give yourself a break. Piggy-backing about town is a relaxing way to get around. You just focus on holding on and not strangling the piggy-backer and you’re golden. It’s quite relaxing, really.

2. See the world. Piggy-backing is all about extra visibility and fresh perspectives. Sitting up high piggy-style is good for the back row of a crowded concert or for a kid trying to get a better view of the fireworks show. Yes, piggy-backing shoots you up where the air is thin, the world is small, and the bald spots swim around you like shiny coins at the bottom of a water fountain. The world is new again.

3. You’ve been shot by Cupid. Yes, according to ads for online dating, jeans, or wedding rings, there aren’t many things that scream true love more than piggy-back rides. Makes sense, too. Giving someone a piggy-back is a tough slog and not the kind of transportation perk you’d casually offer to a first date or office coworker. Therefore, if you’re piggy-backing, you’re in love.

4. You just got married in South Korea. Believe it, because according to our egghead pals at Wikipedia, after a South Korean wedding the groom often gives a piggy-back ride to his mother and then his bride, symbolizing his acceptance of his obligations to both. This tradition was possibly invented by banquet halls tired of sweeping up rice and confetti at two in the morning. But either way, congrats on just getting married in South Korea.

So let’s get down with the carry-around.

Jumping on someone’s back and being lugged around town is a sweet deal. If you’re lucky enough to score a piggy-lift somewhere, I say wear a big smile, try and return the favor the next time, and most of all, don’t forget to thank your little piggy.

AWESOME!

Thank them don't strangle them

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#881 When someone lands right on the hotel you just built in Monopoly

build-those-hotelsShelling out for that primo real estate on the corner lot ain’t always easy.

Yes, you may have to mortgage Electric Company or dip into that stash of hundreds hidden under the game board. But after you make your big investment, there’s nothing finer than somebody landing right plum on it, right plum on their next turn.

And there’s always a new bit of tension on that first roll after a hotel enters the game, too. No more superquick circling and buying properties, collecting Get Out Of Jail cards, and winning beauty contests. No, now there’s a hotel on the board and you enter Round 2 of Monopoly, where the haves and have nots are quickly and ruthlessly divided.

When someone lands on the hotel you just built, the first thing they do is go real quiet and quickly pass the dice to the next player, sort of hoping you don’t notice that they’re squatting in your joint.

But you notice all right.

And maybe you’re even all polite and nonchalant about it, too.

“Oh, Marvin Gardens? Hold on a second, wait. Yeah sorry, uh, let’s see here. That’ll be $1200, please.”

“What, seriously?”

“Yeah, sorry. It’s the hotel that does it.” (passing the property card over for inspection)

(inspecting property card) “That’s crazy. That’s like all my money. I might have to mortgage Baltic Avenue.”

“I’m sorry, man. I’ll take all the railroads instead if you want.”

(disgusted) “What, no way! Then I’ll just have Baltic and the blues. Forget it! That’s crazy!”

“Fine … $1200, please.”

(angrily and slowly counting out and handing you a thick stack of hundreds, twenties, tens, fives, and ones that barely add up to $1200, leaving them with only a few properties and two $10 bills leftover)

AWESOME!

If you build it, they will come

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#882 A really good floss after a tough steak

Molars beware

How bad was the first steak you ever made?

I hope it was better than the charred shoe I served for dinner after a good forty minutes of grilling. Needless to say, I made sure there wasn’t anything too raw in there. Nothing too tasty, either.

Of course, the worst part about a tough steak is how it haunts you for the rest of the evening in the form of tough, stringy bits of beef wedged tightly between all your teeth. No matter how hard you twist and turn your tongue to get them, they just ain’t moving.

That’s when you have to bring in the big guy. Yes, that beautiful pack of floss should do the job just fine, thank you very much. Just pull out a piece, snap it off, and get down to business. Flecks of chewed up beefbits fly in all directions, finding new homes on the mirror and in the corners of your bathroom floor.

And that’s pretty much that.

Ladies and gentlemen, a good floss after a tough steak!

AWESOME!

Dinner's on me

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#883 Ugly movie stars

Props to ugly actors.

These wrinkly, crinkly stars of the screen made it up through a system that values looks and beauty and they did it on raw talent alone. Yes, ugly actors shine bright as a beacon of hope to any of us with bushy eyebrows, gap teeth, or big, crooked noses. They show us the power of doing what you love, even if the system says you don’t qualify. So let’s recognize some of the best of the best:

In his defense, no one's armpits look that great

#12 John C. Reilly. It’s refreshing to see that belly pudge and ungroomed armpit hair. You keep your tabloid cover shots of David Beckham running shirtless on the beach with a perfect six-pack. We’ll keep John C. Reilly and his silent approval of our sagging man-boobs and copious love handles.

A face only Hermione could love#11 Rupert Grint aka Ron Weasley. Rupert makes us all feel a bit better about that awkward elementary school picture in the back of the closet.

Morpheus without the cape and guns#10 Laurence Fishburne. If you’re like me, and you’re stuck with gap teeth because you never got braces, then you look up to Laurence Fishburne. Because who says you have to have perfect teeth, anyway?

Possibly Mr. Perfect's mother#9 Rhea Perlman. Kudos to Rhea Perlman for bringing bad hair days out of the closet. Next time you feel ugly because your hair gets frizzy, you’re hit with some rain hair, or it’s dandruff season and you’re calling for snow, just remember that Rhea Perlman had a bad hair decade. So you’ll be fine.

Benecio, you make us feel normal

#8 Benecio Del Toro. When you wake up sore and groggy at noon on a Saturday with a splitting hangover and big, black bags under your eyes, just look in the mirror and say “This face could win an Academy Award.” Thanks, Benecio.

 

A face only Rhea Perlman could love

#7 Danny Devito. How many people shave their entire head the moment they start going bald? It’s like they’re saying “What? Who’s going bald? Not me, I’m just suddenly into shaving my head every day, that’s all.” It’s so common that Danny Devito deserves a big high ten for embracing the chrome dome. Also, he is short.

The Beast with a goatee#6 Ron Perlman. Getting cast as Hellboy and The Beast in Beauty and the Beast is a bit of a mixed blessing. On one hand, hey, great gigs. But on the other hand, you’re playing a beast and a giant, red superhero. It’s only slightly worse than playing The Phantom of The Opera, Ugly Betty, Charlize Theron in Monster, or Darth Vader when he takes off his mask. So kudos to Ron for taking on some brave roles. You teach us courage.

Momma#5 Anne Ramsey. Guess there was a reason they threw this momma from the train.

No comment#4 Paris Hilton. Next time you fall asleep in the tanning bed, or take a little nap with your head in a sinkful of Clorox, just relax. Don’t even worry about it. It’s not a big deal.

Bed head at its finest#3 Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Ever grow one of those nasty, shaggy, out of control beards? The kind that gets soup all over it when you’re eating and scratches your girlfriend’s chin when you kiss? The kind that gets you kicked out of convenience stores and frisked a little extra at airport security? Well, Phillip Seymour Hoffman is proof that it is possible to have one of those beards and still be successful. Good on him.

Smile like you mean it#2 Steve Buscemi. What a great, great, great, great actor.

#1 Christopher Walken. The greatest thing about Christopher Walken is that he doesn’t try to gloss things up, No, he just lets the skunk-hawk fly up top and makes no attempt to apologize for wrinkles or spots. We can learn a lot from him.

chris-walkenSeriously though, ugly actors make this world a great place. They remind us that dreaming big can pay off and there is some justice in the world, no matter what you look like. Because let’s face it: most of us are a bit insecure about our bodies. It’s normal to pinch your belly fat, cover up your acne scars, and pluck your unibrow. But ugly actors say “Hey … it’s okay, friend”, because at the end of the day we’re pretty much the same and it doesn’t really matter what you look like.

And for that they are truly

AWESOME!

Check out The Book of Awesome

37_uglyactors

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#884 A good plunger when you really need one

Freedom

If you feel that loose toilet chain jiggle around or that low-flow toilet flush sort of spit, sputter, and die, then I’m telling you man: it’s bad news. Before you know it you’ve got Toilet Chaos on your hands — the bowl starts filling up instead of filling down, and your chocolate milkshake threatens to spill out onto the floor.

Now picture this happening in the bathroom stall at work, the first time you’re at the in-law’s house, or late at night at a date’s apartment after a romantic dinner.

What I’m trying to say is that it can happen anywhere, anytime, anyplace. You will never be ready. Remember: the clogged toilet bowl doesn’t care who you are or where you’re from. No, it strikes mercilessly, without emotion, when you least expect it. Sort of like that guy from No Country For Old Men. The tall, emotionless, mercilessly-striking one.

the-personification-of-a-plugged-toiletAnyway, when this happens to you, and if it hasn’t yet, it will, then there’s only one thing you can do to fight back. No, don’t lay out paper towels on the floor, don’t search desperately for the water turnoff, and don’t just stare hypnotically into the brown, swirling solar system, hoping and praying it will stop before it hits the top.

Don’t do any of that.

Just pull out a plunger and pump it right on in there. Pump and pump and pump some more, because that beautiful little hunk of rubber on a stick has no moving parts and will work like a charm. Once you get her going, she’ll have the toilet burping like a baby in no time.

Then the flush will kick into high gear, the toilet will swallow everything up, and you can quietly slip out of the bathroom and get back to your evening as if nothing happened. And as you finish your dinner, relax on the couch, or settle back into your cubicle, you can look up at the ceiling, smirk a little, and say “Thanks, plunger, for being there when I really needed you.”

AWESOME!

chocolate-milkshake

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#885 When you have exact change to pay for something

get-rid-of-itFeel this pain: You’re a cashier in a busy store at holiday season.

Now, say you’re good at your job and you’ve been there a while. You’ve long memorized the produce codes and you bag like a champion. You’re keeping up with the traffic, whipping customer after customer through the till in no time flat. You’re rocking the credit cards, you’re rocking the debit cards, and your line is the most sought-after line at the store.

Yes, it seems like nothing can stop you. You are Cashatron, a top-secret, beta-version prototype of the world’s most highly efficient cashier.

And if you’ve been there before, if you’ve ever cashed and cashed hard, if you’ve lived the cash life and have the varicose veins to prove it, then you know what I’m talking about. And you also know the one thing that can trip you up. Yes, you know the stick in the bike spokes for a veteran cashier is simply …

… running out of change.

empty-those-pockets1It happens all of a sudden, too. One moment you’re whipping through the line and then suddenly you stare up at a customer and apologize profusely as you awkwardly dump two handfuls of sweaty coins into their hands. You look back at the long line and just hope somebody else opens up a lane while you wait for change to arrive. It’s a terrible feeling. And it makes us ol’ cashing veterans shudder just thinking about it.

And that’s why it’s so great for cashiers when someone pays with exact change. And as an added bonus, customers get to empty their pockets and lighten their loads. Yes, it’s a win-win situation.

Plus, there’s a Bonus Round, too! That’s when you pay for something with exact change … with every single coin you have in your pocket. I’m talking about when you have seven coins in your pocket that add up to 74 cents and the bill comes to $5.74. Nope, no breaking a ten for you, because you just won the bonus round jackpot.

Now, this bonus round is pretty rare, but a big hit for everybody whenever it happens. How excited are you when you realize you pulled it off? For a moment it’s sort of like you beat the currency system. No more change for you, Changeless Wonder! Now you’re all bills, all the time, just rocking the sidewalk with those light, empty pockets.

And how does that make you feel?

AWESOME!

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#887 Talking about how much the meal you just made at home would cost at a restaurant

twenty-thirty-bucks-at-least1It all starts with a recipe downloaded off the Internet.

Then there’s the new item on the grocery store shopping list, the big soup pot or fancy barbecue tools you haven’t used in a while, and about an hour of commotion in the kitchen.

Finally everyone takes a seat and out pops a steaming slab of lasagna or some glistening T-bone steaks with fancy side dishes. And as drinks are poured, plates are filled, and everyone starts digging into the meal, somebody lobs up the big question.

“Hey, what do you think this would cost in a restaurant?”

And it’s a great conversation, because now in addition to the feeling of eating good food with friends or family, you get a nice little bonus Cheapskate High, too.

AWESOME!

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#888 Peeing in a pool or lake

take-a-dip1Okay, admit it.

You’ve done it, I’ve done it, we’ve all done it together.

And sure, peeing in the pool is a bit of a social faux pas, but dang girl, it sure feels good, doesn’t it? After all:

  • Mini hot-tub. You get that classic hot cloud effect, where suddenly there’s a nice warm water-diaper hanging around you. Yeah, yeah, it’s gross, but don’t worry. It’s sterile.
  • Feel that drain. Because holding it in isn’t good for you, either. So just let it out, let your bladder relax, and enjoy the feeling.
  • It’s a secret. Unless you tell others, of course, which isn’t recommended. But there’s something sweet about keeping this one real quiet. Especially because the pool’s probably half urine, anyway. Admitting you just peed will result in everyone else admitting they peed, too.

Now, peeing in a lake is a decent alternative, but without the big dose of chlorine you might actually get someone sick if they go under and swallow a mouthful. And that just really wouldn’t be funny.

No, it wouldn’t be funny at all.

AWESOME!

garden-hose

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#889 When the first break in billiards is that big giant crack

You can just hear it

I am a terrible pool player.

Yet, despite this, whenever someone at a bar asks me to play against them or be their partner, I’m like sure, yeah, I’m totally in.

I mean, I’m having a good time, I’m in a good mood, so I sort of tipsily swagger over to the cue rack on the wall and pretend to be sizing them up. “Oh man, all the good ones are gone,” I always say extremely loudly, my eyes darting around at the other players with a sad little “Yeah, it’s true,” head nod, being careful to plant seeds of disappointment early so nobody expects me to actually sink a ball.

Chalk that cue

After that, I begin a desperate search for chalk. “Gotta have some chalk, gotta have some chalk,” I’ll mumble, as I walk in circles around the pool table, looking underneath it and in all the pockets until I find some. And when I do, I really go to town. Honestly, I rub my pool cue in that chalk and twist it around tightly, and then I flare the edges to cover up all the missed spots.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll keep chalking my cue until somebody breaks. The goal here is to avoid eye contact until the game starts, because otherwise I might be asked to break, and that’s never a pretty sight.

No, the four or five times I’ve foolishly agreed to kick-off the game end up embarrassing everyone involved. I’ll generally skid the cue off the side of the cueball, sending it wildly spinning directly into a side pocket. Or I’ll get under the ball by accident and send it flying across the bar, where it’ll softly roll up against the boot of some pony-tailed, tattooed biker dude, who will then shoot me a cold, piercing stare and begin punching his fist into his palm.

8-ballNo, it’s better for everyone if I avoid the break. Frankly, I shouldn’t even be playing.

But what I will do if I can is peek up from my obsessive chalking just before the break, so I can watch the break, because I love the break, because the break is great. I mean, it’s an explosive crack that rises above the background bar buzz, and captures everyone’s attention as the balls fly in all directions.

Yes, the sound of a solid crack from a good break in billiards is the sound of a good fifteen to twenty minutes of fun getting started. And it’s the sound of people enjoying themselves with a couple of drinks, some good friends, and a great night.

And that sounds a lot like

AWESOME!

Even that girl playing on the chair is better than me

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